The Telegram (St. John's)

North Carolina governor opposes offshore drilling


ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, North Carolina’s governor announced his opposition on Thursday to drilling for natural gas and oil off the Atlantic coast, saying it poses too much of a threat to the state’s beaches and tourism economy.

Up against a Friday deadline for comment from elected officials on the Trump administra­tion’s request for companies to perform seismic testing under Atlantic waters, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper held a news conference at a coastal state park to announce he’ll register the state’s opposition. “There is a threat looming over this coastline that we love and the prosperity it brings, and that’s the threat of offshore drilling,” Cooper said at the Fort Macon State Park in Carteret County, where he said he visited as a child and as a parent.

“As governor, I’m here to speak out and take action against it. I can sum it up in four words: ‘not off our coast.’”

State Republican leaders, including former governor Pat Mccrory, have pressed for exploratio­n both offshore and inland through hydraulic fracturing. GOP legislator­s have passed laws laying the groundwork for collecting royalties from any oil and gas mined below the ocean surface.

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